Shigeru Ban to help relief efforts in Nepal

Ban's refugee camps in Rwanda. (Courtesy Shigeru Ban Architects/ NGO Voluntary Architects’ Network)

Ban’s refugee camps in Rwanda. (Courtesy Shigeru Ban Architects/ NGO Voluntary Architects’ Network)

Shigeru Ban, the Pritzker Prize laureate known for his humanitarian work, is lending his design talents to earthquake-ravaged Nepal. Ban’s Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN) will start by distributing tents that can serve as shelter and medical stations.

More after the jump.

Window washers dangling from One World Trade Center rescued

East, News, Skyscrapers
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
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Secure window washers working at 1 World Trade Center on the north side—not where the accident happened. (Courtesy AN)

Secure window washers working at 1 World Trade Center on the north side—not where the accident happened. (Courtesy AN)

Firetrucks, police cars, and a helicopter surrounded 1 World Trade Center this afternoon to save two window washers who became trapped near the 69th floor on the south side of the building. According to the New York Times, the machine controlling the scaffolding, to which the washers were strapped, malfunctioned. Firefighters were able to reach them by cutting a hole in a nearby window and then bringing them to safety.  An official from the fire department said he believed the cause of the scaffolding failure was a snapped cable.

“They are in a difficult spot,” a fire department spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. “They are feeling the effects of hanging in there.”

Oscar Niemeyer’s Latin American Memorial Consumed by Flames

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
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Smoke and Flames pour out of Oscare Niemeyer's Latin America Memorial in São Paulo, Brazil (joviannysierascky / Instagram)

Smoke and Flames pour out of Oscare Niemeyer’s Latin America Memorial in São Paulo, Brazil (joviannysierascky / Instagram)

While Americans trampled over each-other for the latest consumer electronics, flames tore through the late Oscar Neimeyer’s landmark Latin America Memorial complex (1987) in São Paulo, Brazil on Friday. Inaugurated in 1989, the complex was built to promote the social, cultural, political and economic integration of Latin America. Eighty-eight firefighters were reportedly dispatched to contain the blaze that consumed portions of the 909,000 square foot complex for up to five hours.

Continue reading after the jump.

In Chicago, Toyo Ito reflects on 3.11 Earthquake

Midwest, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
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Home-for-All in Rikuzentakata. (Naoya Hatakeyama / Courtesy Toyo Ito & Associates)

Home-for-All in Rikuzentakata. (Naoya Hatakeyama / Courtesy Toyo Ito & Associates)

Japanese architect and 2013 Pritzker Laureate Toyo Ito visited the Art Institute of Chicago Tuesday, reflecting during two public lectures on how the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated his homeland changed his approach to design.

At 72 years old, the accomplished architect might be expected to rest on his laurels. But Ito said his entire approach began to change during the 1990s. “I used to pursue architecture that is beautiful, aligned with modernism,” he said through an interpreter during a talk with Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho; Yusaku Imamura, director of Tokyo Wonder Site; and artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. Instead, he said, he began to ask what elements of a building make it livable.

Continue reading after the jump.

LACMA Controversy Stirs Up Memories of LA’s Past Environmental Disasters

West
Friday, September 20, 2013
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lacma_zumthor_01

Zumthor’s design could disrupt the La Brea Tar Pits (Museum Associates)

Peter Zumthor’s design for a new central building at LACMA has some experts concerned with its environmental effects. Critics including John Harris, chief curator of the National History Museum’s Page Museum, worry that the project could disrupt the La Brea tar pits, the same ecological features that inspired the building’s blob-like shape. At a meeting last month the county Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 to request a presentation from the Page Museum fleshing out the curator’s concerns. That presentation has not yet been scheduled, according to the Page Museum’s press office.

Continue reading after the jump.

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